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74 Songs With the Color Black in the Title

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Celebrate the many meanings of the color black with a playlist of pop, rock, country, metal, and folk tunes with black in the title. The color black can signify power, formality, death, evil, and mourning.

Celebrate the many meanings of the color black with a playlist of pop, rock, country, metal, and folk tunes with black in the title. The color black can signify power, formality, death, evil, and mourning.

The Color Black: Power, Mourning, and Mystery

Take away all color and what you have is the magic and intrigue of black. Technically, it's not a color at all. Black can symbolize:

  • formality
  • elegance
  • power
  • seriousness and
  • strength.

For example, judges and clergy typically cloak themselves in black robes of authority. Attendees at expensive black-tie affairs wear little black dresses and tuxes, and they ride in black limousines. Fashionistas compliment trendy new hues as being "the new black." (Note that those other colors in the crayon box are simply wannabes.)

The other side of black, however, is that it can represent the stuff of Halloween:

  • evil
  • death
  • fear
  • mystery and
  • the macabre.

Bahahaha! It is the color of grief, and the practice of wearing black while in mourning dates back to the Roman Empire. However you think of black, make a playlist of pop, rock, county, folk, and metal song with the color black in the title. We have a long list to start you off!

1. "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse

In this retro-flavored soul number from 2006, phenomenally gifted songstress Amy Winehouse describes an emotionally searing breakup with partner Blake-Fielder-Civil. When he left her temporarily for an ex-girlfriend, Winehouse went "back to black," meaning she struggled to return to what she knew.

Some people interpreted "black" to mean a dark mood (depression) and drinking while others read it as black tar heroin. ("Black" is a street name for the drug, and she makes other references to the drug in this song.) The singer had both drug and alcohol addictions and died at age 27, binge-drinking vodka while watching old YouTubes of her old concerts.

2. "Black Water" by The Doobie Brothers

This 1974 rock song became The Doobie Brothers' first chart-topper, and it was known as their signature song. The tune's narrator seeks to float lazily down the dark waters of the mighty Mississippi River in a raft under the moonlight. He daydreams about catfishing and stopping in New Orleans to enjoy the jazz and drinks.

While floating down the river in a raft might sound fun, in reality, the Mississippi River is polluted with agricultural and urban runoff. It is also populated with alligators, sharks, snakes, and leeches. Some things are better to simply sing about.

3. "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" by KT Turnstall

This mesmerizing folk rock song from 2005 didn't receive significant traction on the charts that it deserved until it was covered by Katharine McPhee on the eighth season of American Idol. The ditty recounts a fable involving a woman whose heart knows her better than she knows herself.

The narrator wanders in the middle of nowhere, lost on her path in life when she encounters a critical junction, a choice she must make. She happens upon a cherry tree and a big black horse that beckons marriage. (Cherries s symbolize unquenchable desire and the black horse represents a mystery. Marriage is always an unknowable adventure though.)

Said, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
You're not the one for me.

The woman soundly rejects the matrimonial offer. When she later has a problem with her heartbeat, she completely denies her feelings but lives to regret it. Her heart, the cherry tree, and the big black horse all forsake her and live happily together.This song is about having the strength to make life choices consistent with your heart.

4. "Two Black Cadillacs" by Carrie Underwood

They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and here are two of them who join forces to seek revenge on the man who dared to deceive them. In this deliciously dark-hearted 2012 country ditty, a wife calls an unfamiliar number on her husband's cell phone and reaches his mistress.

There are several ways this could have gone down, but it took the darkest of turns for the philandering mister. Rather than blaming one another, the girls conspire to get even with the two-timing man they didn't know they shared. At his funeral two months later, the arrive separately in two black Cadillacs and feign grief as the preacher and the dead man's brother praise his character. High five, sister! No one suspects these gals were allies.

5. "Black Honey" by Thrice

In this 2016 rock song with a political message, "black honey" is a euphemism for oil. The tune comments on America's involvement in the Middle East, using a metaphor of a man who keeps swinging his hand at a swarm of bees because he wants honey on his table. He seems unaware that when he disrupts them that they might sting back.

6. "Black or White" by Michael Jackson

Long before the Black Lives Matter movement, there were pop culture influencers like Michael Jackson issuing pleas for racial tolerance and harmony, as in this 1991 song. Jackson's reputation at the time was slipping because of his eccentricities and changing appearance. For example, tabloids had dubbed him "Wacko Jacko."

This chart-topper, however, solidified his reputation as "The King of Pop." Any television station wanting to show the much-anticipated video of "Black or White" had to call him "The King of Pop." It was a name that he originated and encouraged, and the title stuck.

This pop song is an appeal for racial equity. The narrator refers to being tired of "this stuff" and asserts that it doesn't matter whether you're black or white. He says he's not afraid of Klan sheets anymore and then pleads to people's rationality:

I'd rather hear both sides of the tale
See, it's not about races
Just places, faces
Where your blood comes from
Is were your space is
I've seen the bright get duller
I'm not going to spend my life being a color.

7. "Back in Black" by AC/DC

This classic metal/hard rock song was released in 1980, just five months after AC/DC frontman Bon Scott died suddenly after a wild night of partying. He was replaced by Brian Johnson who led the group until 2016. "Back in Black" is a rowdy tribute to Scott that references never dying and a cat's nine lives. Rather than being somber, it celebrates their deceased friend and former bandmate. The tune was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

8. "Black Cadillac" by Shinedown

Living every day to its fullest and respecting the power of death are the key messages in the 2015 hard rock number. The song features a long black Cadillac, a car often used as a hearse. Meanwhile, the narrator prays to stay on track and make good choices in his life, seeking redemption for yesterday's errant ways. He has gained greater self-control and feels inspired by his future. The man has learned his lesson: Too many more mistakes and he'll be riding in the back of that hearse himself.

9. "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin

The inspiration for this jammin' 1971 rock tune was a black Labrador Retriever, name unknown, who wandered the grounds of the recording studios. There was no link, however, between the black pooch and the subject matter of the song. Go figure.

The classic Led Zep rock song is about a physically attractive woman whom the male narrator is drawn to. Unfortunately, the vixen spends his money, takes his car, and uses him in the hope of securing fame for herself. This leaves the man regretful and longing for the love of a stable woman who will make him happy.

10. "Black Rose" by Volbeat (featuring Danko Jones)

Black roses are technically a very dark shade of red or purple, and the forbidding flowers often symbolize despair, evil, or death. In this 2017 rock song, a narrator refers to his wicked lover who betrayed him as a black rose who dashed his dreams, lied to him, and brought him misery. (Sounds like either a bad breakup or divorce.)

In spite of the disdain he feels towards his hard-hearted ex-lover, the man remembers the good times they shared when their relationship began. He holds out a sliver of hope that they can be that way again.

11. "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud" by James Brown

In 1968, The Godfather of Soul cranked out this historically significant funk number as a tribute to Black self-reliance and empowerment. Not only did the catchy tune become the unofficial anthem of the Black Power movement, but it was also recognized by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll." Moreover, Rolling Stone magazine named "Say It Loud" to their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." The song demands opportunity for Black people and proclaims, "We rather die on our feet than keep livin' on our knees."

12. "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden

Don't let the dreamy, unreal quality of this 1994 rock song lull you into believing that "Black Hole Sun" is a happy song. Soundgarden's biggest hit, this was a deceptively somber ditty that was written by lead singer Chris Cornell following the suicide of fellow grunge artist Kurt Cobain, the Nirvana frontman. Cornell battled depression for years. It infiltrated the band's music, and more than two decades later, in 2017, he also died by suicide.

Although Cornell once described "Black Hole Sun" as a “surreal, esoteric word painting” the Grammy Award-winning tune projects an image of inextricable sadness. The narrator describes feeling unwell and disgraced beneath a black sky, a symbol of evil, emotional heaviness, and death. He prays for relief from the merciless cutthroat competition.

As he summons the black hole sun to wash away the rain for him, the song is a foreboding. Nothing survives a black hole, not even light. Ultimately, this is a song that telegraphs his thoughts of suicide.

Black cats and certain breeds of black dogs are less likely to be adopted from animal shelters in favor of animals with lighter coats.  There’s even a name for the phenomenon:  the Black Dog Syndrome. Show them some love!

Black cats and certain breeds of black dogs are less likely to be adopted from animal shelters in favor of animals with lighter coats. There’s even a name for the phenomenon: the Black Dog Syndrome. Show them some love!

Idioms and Terms Involving the Color Black

Idiom or TermMeaning

the black dog

euphemism for clinical depression

black hat

a villain (as in a Western movie)

as black as one is painted

as evil or malicious as one is portrayed to be

black ice

ice on the road that is difficult to see

blacklist

a list of people deemed unacceptable or untrustworthy

black gold

petroleum

black heart

to be emotionally cold, calculated, corrupt

black swan event

in economics, an extremely rare, unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences

blackwater

piped wastewater from toilets (after flushing) that contains feces, urine, paper, and contaminants

pot calling the kettle black

an accusation of hypocrisy; accusing someone of having traits or behavior that you have yourself

blackout poetry

a form of poetry in which the writer takes a newspaper article (or other previously published work) and eliminates unnecessary words and images with a permanent marker until s/he has achieved the desired poetic effect

13. "Black and White" by Niall Horan

In a declaration of forever love the man in this 2020 pop ballad tenderly recalls the night when he and his beloved first met. He was besotted from that first encounter and looks forward to their wedding day. Like anyone who is truly in love, he sees his partner as bright sparkly colors lit up against the black and white cinematography of their lives. Then the narrator mentally fast-forwards to their elder years and all those years later, they're still in love. (Sometimes it can happen like this!)

14. "Black Magic Woman" by Santana

Did you know that this classic rock tune from 1970 is actually a Santana cover of a Fleetwood Mac song? By adding percussion instruments, including congas and timbales, Santana gave it a Latin vibe with a distinctive voodoo edge.

The song describes a guy who has fallen under the love spell of a mysterious woman who is versed in the dark arts. Whether she is literally a voodoo priestess or instead symbolically representative of some evil force like heroin, nobody knows. (Note that heroin goes by the street names of "black," "black tar," "black pearl," "black eagle," and "black stuff.") The narrator's lover is pushing him over the edge, and he worries that once she casts her spell on him, she will turn her back on him and betray him.

15. "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" by The Hollies

The setting in this bluesy rock song from 1972 is a speakeasy during the Prohibition era, and the narrator is an undercover FBI agent "sitting in a nest of bad men." Before the raid goes down, a beautiful, long-legged singer in a black dress catches his eye, and he finds himself captivated. Without warning, the government agents suddenly storm the place. As shots ring out, the undercover agent makes a snap decision. He holds the singer's hand and protects her from harm.

16. "Black Sheep" by John Anderson

Who's the black sheep in your family, that wayward member everyone's reluctant to invite to Thanksgiving? It's not you, is it?

The fella in this backwoods 1993 country song isn't ashamed to acknowledge his black sheep status. While his siblings are more successful and educated than he is, the narrator drives a semi-truck. He's married to a waitress, and they live in a two-room shack. This is a simple man with a basic philosophy in life:

I'm sayin', "Woman, wake me up early, be good to my dogs
And teach my children to pray."

17. "Blackout' by Frank Turner

"Are you afraid of the darkness?" That's what this 2018 alternative rock track demands to know.

A song of vulnerability, it employs a temporary power outage to convey our needs for connectedness. When all the lights go out, it may mean one person's television dies, but for another, it means that their life support malfunctions. The narrator appeals to our common experience of fearing the unknown in the pitch black. He reaches out to his fellow humans in compassion and comfort.

18. "Black" by Dierks Bentley

In the dark of night, two lovers are intertwined. The blinds are pulled, the woman's black dress lies crumpled on the floor, and her hair falls against her lover's body. The guy in this 2016 country song describes the deep physical and emotional intimacy that he and his partner share, referencing how she takes him to ecstasy's edge and lets him dangle there, exactly like he likes it:

Make my world go black, hit me like a heart attack, knock me flat on my back, yeah
Just keep doing that, that thing you're doing there, brush me with your hair, I swear
I don't know how long that I can last
Make my world go black, black
Make my world go black.

19. "Black Magic" by Little Mix

Imagine having the confidence to snag the man of your dreams. That's what a little black potion will do for you. British girl group Little Mix portrays a sassy narrator in this 80s-influenced dance track from 2015. The lady knows what she wants and relies on black magic to get it, using a secret recipe to keeps her beloved begging for more. Just one drop of this black potion and her partner is hooked for good.

20. "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea (featuring Rita Ora)

Beware of this femme fatale. She's clearly announcing her intentions.

The woman in this 2014 rap song provides an ominous warning to the man foolish enough to love her then do her wrong. That girl's gonna go all "fatal attraction" on his cheating hide and make him wish they never crossed paths. She likens her vicious plot for revenge to the black widow spider which is known for the female devouring the male during sex, sometimes as he is attempting to escape.

The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. In 2020, #BLM global marches spread following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. In 2020, #BLM global marches spread following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Even More Songs with the Color Black in the Title

Know a song that should be on this playlist? Leave a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

SongArtist(s)Year Released

21. Long Black Train

Josh Turner

2003

22. Black

Pearl Jam

1991

23. Black Spider Man

Logic (featuring Damian Lemar Hudson)

2017

24. Little Black Submarines

The Black Keys

2012

25. Paint It Black

The Rolling Stones

1966

26. Supermassive Black Hole

Muse

2006

27. Black Betty

Ram Jam

1977

28. Black Beetles

Rae Sremmurd (featuring Gucci Mane)

2016

29. Black Balloon

Goo Goo Dolls

1999

30. Black Cloud

Morrissey

2009

31. Welcome to the Black Parade

My Chemical Romance

2006

32. Black Velvet

Alannah Myles

1989

33. Black Cat

Janet Jackson

1990

34. Fade to Black

Metallica

1984

35. Blackbird

Beatles

1968

36. Black Rose

Waylon Jennings

1973

37. Black and White

Three Dog Night

1972

38. Blue on Black

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

1998s

39. Black Sun

Death Cab for Cutie

2015

40. Blackout

Scorpions

1982

41. Black Beauty

Lana Del Rey

2014

42. Black Ice

AC/DC

2008

43. Black Gives Way to Blue

Alice in Chains

2009

44. Black Coffee

Heavy D & The Boyz

1994

45. To Be Young, Gifted and Black

Nina Simone

1970

46. Black and Yellow

Wiz Khalifa (featuring Snoop Dogg, Juicy J & T-Pain)

2011

47. Little Black Dress

One Direction

2013

48. Black and Gold

Sam Sparro

2008

49. Man in Black

Johnny Cash

1971

50. Black Sheep

Gin Wigmore

2011

51. Falling Inside the Black

Skillet

2006

52. I'm Wearing Black

Granger Smith

2011

53. Black December

Hellyeah

2014

54. Black Moon

The Lacs

2014

55. Little Black Dress

Sara Bareilles

2013

56. Welcome to the Black Parade

My Chemical Romance

2006

57. Fell on Black Days

Soundgarden

1994

58. Black Thumbnail

Kings of Leon

2007

59. Black Tambourine

Beck

2005

60. Black Night

Deep Purple

1970

61. Black Is Black

Los Bravos

1966

62. Long Black Cadillac

Jackson Delaney

2013

63. Black Roses

Trey Songz

2009

64. Black Like Me

Mickey Guyton

2020

65. Black Lives Matter

Dax

2020

66. Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)

Will Smith (featuring Trā-Knox)

2002

67. Black Rose

Thin Lizzy

1979

68. Black Roses Red

Alana Grace

2005

69. Black Orchid

Blue October

1998

70. Black Gold

Soul Asylum

1993

71. Black Is the Color (Of My True Love's Hair)

Nina Simone

1959

72. Black Rain

Soundgarden

2010

73. Old Black Magic

Josh Ritter

2019

74. That Old Black Magic

Rod Stewart

2010

© 2020 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 27, 2020:

Adrienne Farricelli - Bless you for fostering and training those black dogs!

Adrienne Farricelli on June 26, 2020:

I tried to think about songs with the color black in the title before reading your article and my mind went blank. Yet, I am familiar with many of these songs. I have witnessed black dog syndrome in shelters many times, and fostered/trained several black dogs to help them out.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 25, 2020:

Bob - I appreciate your stopping by. Have a wonderful day!

Robert Sacchi on June 25, 2020:

Another fun mix of old songs and new. "That Old Black Magic" has been around for a long time and performed by many artists. Thanks for posting.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Lorelei - She's got a thing for singing about bad guys or cheating men. It's one of her best in my book!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Clive - Thank you for stopping by

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Ann - Thank you for your kind words. There are some colors in the crayon box that have a lot of songs about them and others have very few. Intriguing, eh? Have a lovely weekend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Eric - I really love Amy Winehouse. What a troubled soul whom no one cared enough to save from herself.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Rajan - Those songs are two of my favorites here. Amy Winehouse in particular is an artist I enjoyed. She died way too soon. She was so inspired but troubled. Thanks for commenting. Have a terrific week ahead!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

MG - Glad you enjoyed this. You must be talking about the little black dress. Have a great weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Nithya - It does provide an excellent accent and is a "power" color. I'm glad you enjoyed this list. Have a remarkable Sunday!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Linda - You really have to see it as well. It's very inspiring. I'd like to try it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Heidi - Thanks for this great addition. I used the version by Rod Stewart. Hope you're having a terrific weekend. Ours here is filled with lots of rain but otherwise very pleasant.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Linda - My hope is that there are brighter days ahead of us.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Dora - Thanks for your insightful and positive comment. Have a wonderful weekend.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on June 20, 2020:

Carrie Underwood never fails to send a chill through me with her songs. This was my first time hearing her "Two Black Cadillacs" and it sure send chills down my spine lol. Carrie did it again.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on June 20, 2020:

Very Nice Color Indeed

Ann Carr from SW England on June 20, 2020:

Some real goodies here. Love Amy Whitehouse, Rolling Stones and The Beatles. There are so many about black, aren't there?! I was surprised.

Your usual detailed research makes this as fascinating as all your other collections of themed songs. Great stuff!

Ann

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 20, 2020:

Flourish I have no idea how my rather minute brain works but I was called back for Amy. She was disturbing but very insightful. hmm.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 20, 2020:

All these songs are new to me. Interesting though how the colour black can denote so many different things. I especially enjoyed listening to Amy Winehouse and KT Turnstall. Thanks for sharing

MG Singh emge from Singapore on June 20, 2020:

Lovely collection, so many like black on their GF's, sometimes this color can be exotic.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2020:

Eric - I'm glad you enjoyed this. I hope you are doing well. We had skies yesterday that were nearly black and the rain just dumped down on us. It was good staying home weather.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 19, 2020:

Black is a beautiful color, and you have let the color shine through your excellent choice of songs about the color black. I enjoyed going through them; many of these songs are my favorites.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2020:

I've never heard of blackout poetry before. It sounds interesting. Your choice of music is interesting as well, as always.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 19, 2020:

So... many... fave tunes in this list!

Of course, I'm gonna go old school with one add. "That Old Black Magic" by Frank Sinatra.

Happy Weekend!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 19, 2020:

So many songs; I had no idea that "black" was such a prevalent theme in popular music. Of course, I know the old one and found a lot of new ones that are not on my playlist. At one of his concerts a few years ago Paul McCartney explained that he wrote Blackbird as a response to racial tensions escalating in the United States during the spring of 1968—a song of hope for a brighter future. Oh sigh!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 19, 2020:

How timely! Black is not always depressing and ugly, and even when it is, it can form the background for the more beautiful things we create together, as in song number seventeen. Your lists are useful in various ways. Thanks.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 19, 2020:

Thank you. What awesome narratives with the songs. I will be in and out of here all day to listen up.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 18, 2020:

Pamela - Thanks so much for your kind comment. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 18, 2020:

Black can mean so many different things and this huge list reflects that very well. I probably only knew about 2/3 of the songs you profiled and they are good. This is another good list of songs, as usual, Flourish.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 18, 2020:

Mary - I appreciate your kindness. Have a wonderful weekend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 18, 2020:

Peggy - There are so many that I didn't include! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you're having a wonderful week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 18, 2020:

Liz - I appreciate you stopping by. Have a wonderful day.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 18, 2020:

Bill - I'm glad that it carries sweet memories.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2020:

There is so much in the word "black". Flourish, you have portrayed its richness from so many angles that I now appreciate this color even more.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 18, 2020:

The symbolism of black carries many meanings, as you more than adequately mentioned in this post. While most of these titles were new to me, it is obviously a popular subject for songwriters.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 18, 2020:

I didn't realise that there were so many songs with the word 'black' in the title. This is a well-compiled list.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

"Black is Black" by the Los Bravos. Naturally the first one I thought of isn't on the list. And how could I forget Blackbird? I sang that to my son each night to help him fall asleep. :)